Review: Lindsey Stirling

Artist: Lindsey Stirling

Venue: Power Station, Auckland, New Zealand

Date: 14th February 2015

It was her first time in New Zealand since she filmed her Lord of the Rings cover several years ago, but good things take time and she was well and truly worth the wait! She only played for one night, but it was a Valentine’s Day I will remember forever!

Lindsey graced the stage and had us dancing from start to finish: a task not always easy from a musician who doesn’t sing, but just because we couldn’t sing along, didn’t mean we weren’t all invested!

At several points through the evening, Lindsey stopped to chat with us in her usual charming manner, helping us get to know the girl we all know from YouTube, and reminiscing about her time in New Zealand previously.

Not only did this make us feel special already, but Lindsey took it to a whole other level when just before coming on stage she decided that she had to perform her Lord of the Rings cover for us. Despite making the decision last minute, she and her band did themselves proud and had us all swaying and mesmerized. Lindsey might not sing much, but when she does… we listen.

After many stories, photos of Lindsey from her childhood, covers and originals we were sad to see the night end, but even for those of these single, we couldn’t help but leave feeling the love with a smile on our faces. With a little luck it won’t be quite so long until we see Lindsey on our shores again. One thing I know for sure: whenever she does come back, I will be in the audience smiling with the rest of the crowd.

Update: Still Alive & Back To It

Hello one and all! Which could well only be one by this point.

If anybody is still following, or has stumbled upon this I have some updates to share! You may have noticed I haven’t posted anything in 9 months… which is pretty slack. I moved back home to Christchurch in December last year for a much needed escape, and have been very busy organizing my life. However, now that things are settled my muse is stirring again at last, and it’s time I started channeling that.

First things first I’ll be reviewing a few events I’ve been to this year: a few of them are very late dating back as far as February through to as recently as August. For anyone interested in this the reviews will be on: Lindsey Stirling, Eddie Izzard, Foo Fighters, The Script, Alan Davies and Dylan Moran. I also have two events coming up over the next few weeks which I will be reviewing: Imagine Dragons and Maroon 5.

I also have a couple of short stories in the works: a couple of pieces of short fan-fiction based on Dragon Age: Inquisition Multiplayer characters, and a couple of short stories based on assignments that my partner has done for University this year.

If you are still following, and still reading this post: a very big thank you to you! It really helps keep me inspired and motivated.

Stay tuned!

Fanfic: Journal of an Apprentice Chronicler

Journal of an Apprentice Chronicler
9:37 Dragon, Day 121
By the Maker! I’ve never seen the Circle so fired up! Or so divided. Sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself again. I don’t know how I’m ever going to become a chronicler if I can’t even organise my thoughts. I suppose that’s why I started this daily journal; it should make for good practice! I should start at the beginning. Two survivors from Kirkwall arrived today and spoke to the First Enchanter; we’d heard rumours of a battle there a few weeks past which have finally been confirmed. According to our brother mages, the Templar commander of the city invoked the Rite of Annulment for the actions of one apostate. The Rite of Annulment! The Circle is up in arms about it. It scares me to think all our lives could be taken, legally, on the whim of a Templar! Some of the mages are downright furious; I’ve already heard whispers of a plan to overthrow the Templars stationed here! The First Enchanter is maintaining order but… I am starting to worry it may not be enough.
9:37 Dragon, Day 122
Tensions are rising here in the tower; I don’t like the direction things are heading. The whispers of rebelling are growing bolder throughout the tower today, and I’m not sure they will stay whispers for long. Twice I passed my brother mages arguing with the Templars in the corridors. I thought the second time was going to result in blood! I’ve resorted to praying to the Maker that the First Enchanter will be able to keep control of the situation; he’s worried though, I can see it in his eyes. What if one of my brothers in the Circle attacks one of the Templars? What if they invoke the Rite of Annulment in response? We could all be as lambs to the slaughter if even one mage so much as steps out of line. Maker preserve us… I fear this shall not end well.
9:37 Dragon, Day 123
The worst has come to pass! Fighting erupted all throughout the tower today: I’m not sure how it began. The whole day is rather hazy I’m afraid. I was in the library when I heard raised voices coming from the corridor; before I could even rise from my chair there was an explosion and a Templar came flying through the door, smoke trailing from him. Inspired by this brazen attack, several other mages joined the fray. Fireballs, Lightning Bolts and blasts of arcane energy buzzed through the tower. Templars rushed about with swords and shields drawn, chasing down mages as they ran around the tower. I tried to find the First Enchanter in hopes he could restore order; but it was impossible to see anything through the haze of the smoke. Eventually I glimpsed him across the great hall, yet as I opened my mouth to call to him, a stone fist slammed into my shoulder, knocking me to the ground. I must have hit my head when I fell, for the next thing I remember was waking in my quarters, should bandaged.
9:37 Dragon, Day 124
I learned this morning that five of my brother mages were slain in the skirmish and a further four used the confusion to escape from the Circle. To make matters worse, three Templars were also killed. The Knight-Commander was livid! I thought he would have invoked the Rite of Annulment then and there; it was only through the diplomacy of the First Enchanter that those of us who had not been identified as being involved in the fighting were spared. All the Templars are on edge; the mages wary of setting them off and bringing the Rite upon us all. The tension is palpable; I’ve never been as nervous as I am at this moment. I feel utterly sick. Any time I begin to cast, every Templar in the vicinity turns his gaze upon me and instinctually reaches for their blade. I’m afraid to even cast the simplest of spells for fear I’ll be cut down from behind. My nerves are utterly frayed: I don’t know if I can bear this any longer! I have to escape…
9:37 Dragon, Day 125
I’ve done it. I’ve actually left the Circle! I suppose that makes me an apostate now… I never thought I would live to see this day. The countryside is unusually quiet; I’ve never been far from the tower but even I can tell something isn’t right. The apostates from Kirkwall were right; war is coming. Fields lie abandoned; the crops withering from lack of care. Even the animals are far and few in between. The only advantage I can gather from this is that there is nobody on the roads to hand me over to the Templars, who have no doubt collected my phylactery and are hot on my trail. I’m starting to think fleeing from the Circle wasn’t the best idea… with war coming, they might not take me back to the tower: they may just execute me on the spot. Or worse, they may take me back and make me… tranquil. I think I may have to head south and head into the wilds. It’s my best chance for evading the Templars… by the Maker, this ‘gift’ is starting to feel more like a curse again.
9:37 Dragon, Day 126
I… I can barely hold my quill steady enough to write this entry: they caught up with me today. There was only one Templar, young but confident in his abilities. I don’t remember much about what happened: he told me he was going to take me back to the tower… and make sure the Knight-Commander made me tranquil. I panicked. I threw an arcane bolt at him, but he raised his shield to block it, though he staggered from the impact. Next moment his sword was in his hand and he charged at me; I ran from him, his cumbersome armour slowing him enough for me to side-step him and unleash a cone of cold, enveloping him and slowing him even further and then… I don’t know. The next thing I remember was my eyes opening wide at the sight of his corpse; I’d killed him. I’ve never killed anyone before… I… it’s just… I’m sorry. I can’t write anymore tonight. I will write again tomorrow.
9:37 Dragon, Day 127
I think I may finally cried myself dry last night; I’ve also found a steel inside myself that I never knew existed. When I first discovered I’d been born with the gift of magic, I was terrified of my budding powers: I viewed them only as a curse. It was only with the First Enchanter’s patience and guidance that I discovered that I have a knack for healing spells and protective magic: that my abilities weren’t a curse but a gift with which I could help others. I owe the First Enchanter everything, yet I can’t use my power to protect as long as the Chantry insists on keeping us in check; we may as well be leashed like animals. I have decided for the sake of the people, the First Enchanter and even myself: I shall head north to the Tevinter where perhaps I can learn the magic I need, free from the Chantry’s control. I know now what it is I must do: I must fight this war and win us the freedom that all living beings deserve.

Short Story: Secret of the Lens

Secret of the Lens

“Tell us a story Granma!”
“Oh, I don’t know dears… it’s getting a little late.”
“Please Granma! Tell us a story before bed! Tell us a scary story!”
“Oh, alright then: but don’t come running to me when you’re too scared to sleep!”
A very long time ago, there was a young girl named Elyse. She lived on the outskirts of a quiet little town, in a cottage near a dark and beautiful wood. When she was younger she loved going for walks through the woods, and talking to all the animals that lived within. Deep in the woods was a beautiful little pond where she would sit for hours, enjoying the peace and quiet all alone: her own secret place. She wished she could take the pond with her wherever she went, so she asked her parents for a camera so she could take a photo of it. Her family weren’t too well off, so they told her they’d see about getting one for her birthday in a couple of weeks. She was a little disappointed, but she knew the pond would be there forever, so the photo could wait if it had to.
A week later while she was home alone, a plainly wrapped parcel arrived with her name on it arrived at the cottage. Opening it, she was delighted to find an old second-hand camera inside. Assuming it was a surprise from her parents, she rushed straight into the woods to take photos. The photo of the pond turned out perfectly, the ones of the animals on the other hand… came out slightly strange. There was a faint, blurry outline of colour around all of the animals, though it was different for each animal.
It turns out her parents didn’t know anything about the camera, and there was no note with the package saying who it was from: it was a complete mystery! They thought maybe an aunt or uncle had sent it, and the card had just been lost in the mail. Still, a camera was a camera so they let her keep it.
She took dozens of photos on her birthday, but when she got the photos printed… there were faint coloured outlines around all of the people. Nobody could work out why, but as the camera was pretty old they thought maybe that was to blame. The camera was just one enigma after another.
“Granma? What’s a nigma?”
“An enigma dear. It means a mystery.”
There was something else that was rather odd that she noticed. In the photos, a man, the same man, was present in the background of most of them. There was a faint aura around him too, but it was so murky she couldn’t even begin to guess which colour it was. The murky outline obscured the man’s face to the point young Elyse couldn’t even tell who he was, but whoever this mystery man was: there was something about him that made her shiver. She put all the photos in a small chest and hid it under her bed and tried to put it from her mind.
The next day Elyse took her camera with her, deep into the woods. It was odd… there were no animals around that day: something was off. She thought maybe it was just because she couldn’t get the mysterious man off her mind. She sat quietly beside her pond, pondering what it could mean. Suddenly, a loud cracking noise from behind made her jump. She spun around to see a man in a black coat watching her sending a chill down her spine: surely he was the man from her photos!
“I see you’ve been enjoying my gift.” He said nodding at the camera in her trembling hands.
“Come with me.”
“Stay away!” she screamed backing away from him.
‘Come. With. Me!” he roared rushing towards her.
She stood frozen in terror, but he never reached her. Slipping on the wet rocks he fell to the ground, smashing his head on a sharp rock. Her beautiful pond had been tainted red as his blood trickled into it. Horrified, she threw the camera up into a tree and ran all the way home. She never went to the pond again. And for fifty years, she never spoke a word about what happened that day…
“That wasn’t scary Granma! That’d never happen!”
“Oh? No… I don’t suppose it would. Now off to bed, both of you.” she said dismissing them. When she was sure they were tucked safely away in bed, she went to her own room and closed the door behind her. Reaching under her bed, she pulled out a small ornate chest and removed the lid. All that lay within was a single photograph… of a beautiful little pond.

Poetry: Born from the Shadow

There is a shadow settling over my heart;

It’s breath cold,

It’s claws sharp.

There is a shadow staining my soul;

Darkness obscuring,

Darkness prevailing.

There is a shadow clouding my mind;

Hope becomes fear,

Hope turns to despair.

There is a shadow consuming my life;

’tis always darkest before the dawn,

Wreathed in flames of gold, may I be reborn.

Poetry: Betrayal

If only I’d seen, if only I’d known,

How this would all turn out:

I would have spun a web of a thousand lies to keep you to myself.

Perhaps I was merely a guide to bring you two together,

Perhaps those years were wasted,

Perhaps I think too much.

You were the chink in my armour,

Yet still you were the blade.

My heart cries out in agony,

My eyes rage green and wild,

Until the time you open yours, I will hide away.

When you realize your mistake, you will rue the day.

Haiku: (Friends #3)

Two sides of a coin,

I both love and hate you still,

Some things never change.

If only you knew,

The things I know about you,

You would understand.

A connection rare,

Formed just before I depart:

We’ll always be friends.